Well that’s not something you expect to see when you check the betting odds in the morning…
According to oddsmakers at BetOnline.ag, the New England Patriots are the favorites to land quarterback Lamar Jackson this offseason – should he leave the Ravens:
Lamar Jackson’s Next Team (If Not Baltimore)
New England Patriots +400
New York Jets +450
Atlanta Falcons +550
Las Vegas Raiders +650
San Francisco 49ers +700
Jackson’s career in Baltimore likely ended on Sunday night when his team lost to the Bengals in the Wild Card round of the postseason, and he wasn’t even active to have a say in it. The quarterback has been dealing with a knee injury, and has been out with a grade two PCL injury since week 13.
Jackson is due for a big payday – which he has yet to receive from the Ravens. His rehab felt just as much like a holdout – and it’s hard to blame him. The top of the top QBs in the NFL make upwards of $50 million per year, guaranteed, for anywhere from 5-10 years. If Jackson returned to play and got hurt again, he could have been wishing generational wealth goodbye.
Ready for this one? ?
— Mike Kadlick (@mikekadlick) January 16, 2023
Now let’s get to the headline. The Patriots, who are in the midst of some franchise-altering shifts this offseason, are the favorites to land Jackson this offseason should he not get the money he wants from Baltimore. New England is already in the process of setting up their potential head coach of the future and in recruiting an offensive coordinator – and wants to leave no stone unturned after trying to bury the 2022 hatchet. Could a massive switch-up at signal caller be next?
If this were to happen, it has to be paired with the recruitment of a new coordinator. Jackson’s skillset as an NFL quarterback is unlike any other. He’s a modest passer with elite running and playmaking ability. The way Greg Roman has set it up with the Ravens is all but the perfect scenario for Jackson. Todd Monken or Zac Robinson? Sure. Bill O’Brien or Chad O’Shea? Not so much.
This move would also come with a huge contract extension. The Patriots currently have $35.7 million in cap space for next season according to Miguel Benzan aka @PatsCap. They’d have to shift some money around – but it’s manageable. We’ll have Miguel on the Patriots Beat podcast this coming Thursday to break down all things salary cap heading into 2023.
The other piece here is Mac Jones. Jones is heading into his third season with the Patriots, the most important for a first-round pick, and the situation in New England has undoubtedly been hot and cold for him. Belichick, Kraft, and co. would have a giant decision to make should the actually want to pursue this – and they’ll need to make that decision rather quickly due to the opposite skillsets of the signal callers and the fast turnaround time on the assistant coach carousel.
My take? I’m a huge fan of Mac Jones. He’s a high-IQ quarterback who has the intangible’s to succeed in the NFL – and was utterly screwed by his coaching staff in 2022. He deserves another chance. However, if you have a chance to bring a fringe top-5 quarterback into your club, you simply have to take it. New England’s offseason just got even more interesting.
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